Sunday, December 28, 2003

Personal update

So I didn't mean to take an unannounced two-week hiatus from posting. It just sort of happened. All sorts of pre-holiday festivities, then I was feeling under the weather, then I was flitting about the state for five days visiting family. That's the funny thing about getting married and having both sides of your family primarily reside within a two-hour radius. You feel that it's terrible NOT to visit family members around the holidays, so Christmas ends up being five days of family celebrations repeated throughout various corners of the state.

Such prolonged celebrations have provided some wonderful quality time the past few weeks, but they are quite hard on me physically. The TMJ that I had as a thirteen year-old returned last month. I'm finally getting the headaches under control with mouthgards, but that's affected my posting as well.

The final contributor to my recent inactivity? I'm taking the GMAT on Tuesday. It seems I may have finally reached a decision on my post-graduate degree. I am applying to several part-time MBA programs for the fall/winter terms, and I'm leaving my options open in case my husband's job search calls for a move next fall. I still feel like things are a bit too uncertain for my liking, but it feels good to finally be taking some action. I may expand upon this topic a bit further at a later date, but for now...I must study. I am taking a couple days off at the end of the week, so I hope to do some catching up soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

A Hopeful Day

"In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq."

Somehow, this feels like a very historic day. It's nowhere near as significant as September 11th -- I doubt it will be written up as the defining moment of a generation. At the same time though, I can't help feeling that it's the end of an era. The first Persian Gulf War started when I was in the seventh grade. If I remember properly, the Operation Desert Storm bombing of Baghdad began right before my thirteenth birthday. I remember all the talk about Sadaam Hussein's weapons arsenals, how he would retaliate against America for the bombings of his bases.

At that time, I wasn't too politically aware. In fact, I think the first Gulf War was what caused me to start paying attention to politics. I suddenly wanted to keep myself informed. Why? I was finally aware there was a madman out there, a man who slaughtered his own people and dreamed of laying down mass destruction on America and its people. The number one thing I wanted my government to do was stop him.

And now? Almost thirteen years later to the day, the shadow that hung over my formative years is gone. We have this turkey in custody. Iraqis are celebrating, our soldiers are celebrating, the world is celebrating. Somehow it's almost fitting that they caught him hiding underground like the weasel we always knew him to be. Somehow it's also appropriate that he was taken alive, and that the people he oppressed for decades will be his judge and jury. It makes me go to bed a bit happier tonight, feeling as if more things are right in this world and peace is one step closer. One less madman on the loose threatening the safety of many. Congratulations to the American military on this one -- congratulations and thanks from the Heartland for a job well done.

(Great Sunday coverage available at: National Review & Instapundit
Brilliant-yet-emotional editorial content: Peggy Noonan at WSJ.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Two random thoughts

Christmas cards -- gotta love them. I love the idea of sending them to catch up with family and friends, and I love getting them in the mail. I don't love all the time it takes to figure out what to write on them. If I had my druthers, I'd take two weeks off before Christmas and get all the gifts/cards properly put together and shipped on time...but I don't. Anyone have a short yet not hokey/contrite saying that they would like to share? Suggestions appreciated.

My boys from Illinois just went down in flames tonight. It became so painful I couldn't watch. Key stat? Dee Brown and Deron Williams scored just seven points between the two of them. I know these guys aren't seniors, but I would have loved to see one of them step up and exhibit some leadership tonight. They can't keep having these lapses and stay in the Top 25 for long. Granted the Big Ten season will be their true test and hopefully they will have settled into the Weber offense by then...but still. Sad night around here.
RIP Senator Simon

Former US Senator Paul Simon died today in Springfield at the age of 75. While I didn't agree with him on many political topics, I must say that I still somehow admired the man. He seemed ethical, intelligent, and polite. I only met him in person once, but he seemed to be genuine and constantly crusading for good causes (if not offering solutions that I liked). PeoriaPundit Bill Dennis has a nice post on his family history with the former senator.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


I haven't posted much yet on the issue of Massachusetts impending judicial fiat of gay marriage. It's a pretty tough issue for me, because while I care about my few friends in serious, long-term homosexual relationships, I still think that gay marriage would be destructive to the institution of marriage as a whole. Civil unions...those might be a necessary part of preserving marriage in my opinion.

Ben however has an excellent post on the problems with federalism and gay marriage. Read that and hopefully I can come up with an intelligent post on the matter sometime soon.
I root for Illinois...and whoever's playing Kansas

For the record, Bobby is entitled to sweat Bill Self just as much as we here in ChambanaLand are entitled to loathe him for backing out on his gentleman's agreement with the university. Kyle is entitled to be impressed by Roy Williams. I am entitled to my irrational attachment to bald guys like James Augustine. It's all an individual's prerogative as an NCAA basketball fan.

However, I did have a bit of commentary on these two ACC-Big10 games this week. I see two main reasons why Illinois lost to UNC Tuesday night: Dee Brown's failure to contribute and the entire lineup's failure to hit free throws. These are not things that I expect to see in a few weeks after Weber whips them into shape.

As for Michigan State, I haven't seen them play much. After watching their total collapse against Duke though, I can't help wondering if the Spartans are a bit overrated. I guess we'll see how they really shape up when Big 10 play starts. Man I love the basketball season!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Why Liberals Hate the President

Good column up over at National Review by Adam Wolfson - "The Liberal Hangover". In that piece, he lists these reasons that liberals hate the president. On a side note except for the "Bush is stupid" argument that I do not buy into, these are many of the reasons why I respect our current president.

He "stole" the 2000 election; he's too Texan, too Christian, just too dumb; he struts and talks like a yokel. Others complain bitterly of his "far-right" policies: His support for a ban on partial-birth abortion, his opposition to human cloning and gay marriage, and his tax cuts and faith-based initiatives. And, of course, there's the war in Iraq — always the war in Iraq...

Almost all modern liberal thought begins with the bedrock assumption that humans are basically good. Within this moral horizon something such as terrorism cannot really exist, except as a manifestation of injustice, or unfairness, or lack of decent social services. Whether knowingly or not Bush has directly challenged this core liberal belief — and for this he is not easily forgiven.

I would like to believe that all people are good at their core, that it's all just a matter of perspective. However I cannot look at the living conditions for women and mass slaughters of religious dissenters in Iraq and believe that good, well-meaning people were at work. They were just purely oppressive, cruel, and evil, in my humble opinion.
The Windy City

I'll be in Chicago most of this week, which means that my computer access will be limited and my posting even moreso. (New pet peeve: hotels that advertise "High-Speed Internet Access!" and then charge an arm and a leg for it.)

If anyone has any must-sample restaurants or tourist traps that can be visited after 5 pm, I would be much obliged for the suggestions. I know this city well enough to know there are always things out there I haven't seen.